The Consumer Intelligence Blog - Infegy

Using social listening for competitive analysis in pharmaceuticals

Understanding your competitors' strategies in today’s highly competitive pharmaceutical industry can give your brand a crucial edge. With the pharmaceutical and healthcare advertising market booming in the United States, leveraging competitive intelligence has never been more essential. In this blog, we’ll explore how you can use social listening tools like Infegy’s product suite to gather and act on competitive intelligence, driving your pharmaceutical marketing efforts to success.

The power of social listening

In a world of elevated interest rates and high inflation, every advantage counts. Social listening offers a frictionless way to gain insights into your competitive landscape, bypassing the traditional hurdles of focus groups, polling, or surveys. By simply analyzing social media data, you can gain a comprehensive understanding of how your drug stacks up against the competition.

Understanding where your brand stands

Let’s take a look at the pain reliever market, a massive $23.7 billion industry. For this analysis, we’ll focus on major brands like Advil, Tylenol, Motrin, and Aspirin. These pain relievers use different biochemical mechanisms to help patients, and social listening can reveal what people are saying about them.

Aggregated brand-based metrics

Sentiment analysis: Understanding the sentiment around a brand—whether conversations are positive or negative—can be illuminating. Given that pain relievers are associated with pain and sickness, expect to see predominantly negative sentiment. Tylenol has the lowest proportion of positive conversations within our competitive set.

Passion metrics: This measures the intensity of conversations. For example, Excedrin, which is often used for severe migraines, shows high passion scores due to the intense pain associated with migraines.

Volume analysis: Analyzing the volume of conversations can be an excellent proxy for market share. Higher volumes of discussion often correlate with greater market presence. In Figure 1, we show that Tylonel has a higher volume of discussion than the other pain relievers.

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Figure 1: Wherever this data came from passion scores, dates it was collected, Infegy Social Dataset.

Competitive trend analysis

We see in Figure 2 each brand has some spikes in conversation, but overall maintains consistent conversational volume. Tylenol has the largest number of conversations in the competitive set. Reviewing how conversations are decreasing or increasing can show you how much mindshare each brand has in the marketplace.

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Figure 2: Volume of Tylenol, Advil, Excedrin, Aspirin, and Motrin, Feb 2024-May 2024, Infegy Social Dataset.

Understanding your (and your competition's) customers

Identifying communities

Online communities like subreddits can provide valuable insights into your competition’s customers. These communities act as feedback loops where users discuss their experiences and preferences. Moreover, because the subreddits are content specific, the users do the filtering themselves. As a result, the underlying data tends to be much cleaner than a traditional social listening dataset.

For pain relievers, you might explore subreddits focused on migraines, women’s health, and other relevant topics. We identified subreddits (shown in Figure 3) by viewing which subreddit had the most Influence and volume inside our pain reliever conversations. We often use subreddits to understand the patient experiences for specific conditions. If you wanted to compare how the competitive landscape is performing with a specific patient group. Subreddits would be a rich source to review.

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Figure 3: Subreddits with Motrin, Aspirin, Advil, Excedrin, and Tylenol sorted by Score, February-May 2024, Infegy Social Dataset.

Customer demographics

Understanding the demographics of your competitors’ customers can enhance your marketing strategies. By analyzing age and gender data, you can see where your competition’s messaging is most effective and how you can counter it.

Age Demographics: Younger customers discuss Advil at a higher frequency that the competitive pain killers, while Aspirin is more popular among older adults, likely due to its use in treating heart-related conditions. Although, Excedrin pops for ages 24-35 possibly due to its help with migraine conditions or other conditions that affect younger age groups.

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Figure 4: Audience ages for Advil, Excedrin, Motrin, Aspirin, and Tylenol for February-May, 2024, Infegy Social Dataset.

Gender Demographics: All brands of pain relievers have a higher distribution of conversations occurring in women. The highest percentage of men’s involvement in these conversations was around Aspirin. Excedrin, on the other hand, had the highest percentage of female conversation. This makes sense as women are statistically more prone to migraines versus men.

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Figure 5: Gender breakdown of Aspirin, Advil, Excedrin, Motrin, and Tylenol during Feb 15, 2024- May 15, 2024, Infegy Social Dataset.

Analyzing topics

Examining the topics discussed within these communities can help you understand your drug’s market position. It can also show associated uses, features people enjoy, or the side effects they are experiencing or concerned about. Each brand’s topics show common keywords used in conversations. In this case, Tylenol is often discussed in surgeries and headache-related conversations, and Advil appears in headache and cramp conversations..

For example, Tylenol frequently appears in conversations about Advil and Motrin. This suggests that brand strategists for these brands should work to differentiate themselves more from the market leader.In contrast, Excedrin,heavily associated with migraines, has numerous topics related to migraine triggers like caffeine, iced tea, and coffee, indicating that users are seeking remedies for specific migraine triggers.

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Figure 6: Keywords from Advil, Aspirin, Excedrin, Motrin, and Tylenol, January - May 2024, Infegy Social Dataset.

Why this is important for you

Social listening is a powerful tool for gaining competitive intelligence in the pharmaceutical industry. You can uncover valuable insights about your competitors and their customers by analyzing sentiment, passion, volume, communities, and demographics. This information can help you refine your marketing strategies, improve your brand positioning, and ultimately drive your pharmaceutical marketing efforts to greater success.

With tools like Infegy’s product suite, you’re just a few clicks away from a deeper understanding of your competitive landscape. Embrace social listening and turn these insights into actionable strategies that give your brand the edge it needs. Get your custom demo today!